If your baby has a problem that needs special monitoring, then sending him or her to a nursery or even an intensive care unit is essential. But in other cases, allowing healthy infants and mothers to stay together promotes bonding and breast-feeding. Moms get just as much sleep, research shows, and they learn to respond to the feeding cues of their babies. Allowing mothers and babies to stay together is one of the criteria hospitals must meet to be certified as “baby friendly” by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). ~Consumer Reports: What to reject when you are expecting: 10 procedures to think twice about during pregnancy
The article from Consumer Reports is an excellent resource for pregnant women. It is full of information about overused procedures and things one should do while pregnant and before pregnancy. One of the 10 overused procedures listed was “sending your newborn to the nursery”. I was a bit surprised by that one. Most women I know talk about how delighted they are to have their baby in their room the entire time. They sang praises about it so much that I felt awkward sitting there knowing that I had used the nursery several times. When my first two were born it was commonplace to send a baby to the nursery. The nurse was then supposed to wake you up if the baby needed to be nursed. Two out of two babies, that never happened. The next two babies saw hospitals that encouraged the mom and newborn to be together more. I got to see both worlds. So what did I learn?
I learned that it is not a crime to allow your baby to see the inside of the hospital nursery. I also learned that if you plan to breastfeed then keep your baby in your room all night. While I feel I bonded naturally with all my babies, I do not think I slept any better with a baby in or out of my room. I rather enjoyed having my baby with me during my hospital stay. I did allow the nurses to take the baby once with my fourth after a difficult and tiring labor. From that point on, I had her in my room and enjoyed every second of it. However, if you need the rest, the support, the calmness, then do not feel guilty about allowing your baby to go to the nursery for a bit. Some women have a troubling time and need to mentally rest. It is no one’s business but your own who you handle your recovery. I prefer the baby in the room but if your needs are different then do what you must. You will still bond and still cultivate a loving relationship.